Anna McMillen reconnected with her childhood passion for making Chinese Literati art – plain ink paintings designed to express the artist’s spirit – and combined it with her study of architecture. The result was a better understanding of the importance of grasping the essence of an architectural project, she said.
McMillen, 21, of Chesapeake, graduated May 18 with degrees in architecture and urban planning from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, as well as minors in architectural history and global sustainability. She studied the ink wash paintings in Shanghai last summer thanks to an Undergraduate Award for Arts Projects program.
Harriett Jameson has experienced the value of growing up in a healthy environment, where the richness of the land fosters community and a sense of well-being. That experience informed her academic pursuits in the University of Virginia School of Architecture.
Jameson, who on Sunday will receive dual master’s degrees in landscape architecture and urban and environmental planning, was raised on her family farm in a rural community near Brownsville in southwest Tennessee. “All of my family are farmers, minus a few Methodist ministers, and we have lived on the farm since 1819,” she said.
“It is my deep connection to that place that originally sparked my interest in designing places for people in cities who don’t have that connection to their environments.”
Lauren Melody Shell, who will receive a Master of Fine Arts degree in drama from the University of Virginia on May 18, has loved theatrical production since she played the pivotal role of “Sheep No. 1” in a Christmas nativity scene at her church as a young child.
While an undergraduate student majoring in theater at Anderson University in South Carolina, Shell worked in all aspects of theatrical production as an actor, stage manager, lighting designer, programmer and carpenter.
“I decided that I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed into just one area of theater, and genuinely enjoyed every aspect of each theatrical job I would perform,” she said..
Walk by a session of University of Virginia drama professor Kate Burke’s “Voice for Theater” course and you’re likely to hear a cacophony of noises sprinkled with words in a rhythm that sounds like poetry.
Inside a small, unadorned classroom with no windows, about 10 students move around in two lines – necks and shoulders rolling, arms flailing up and down, hips tilting, knees marching and lunging forward. With each different movement, the students utter strange noises, repeat consonant sounds, blow “brrr” and squeal “whoo” until Burke points at the first student.
He continues to go through the series of motions, but now he recites a sonnet by Shakespeare while his peers keep up the noises.
conThe University of Virginia Cavalier Marching Band received word on Wednesday that it has been selected to represent Virginia in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Cavaliers will join the line of march and begin its performance to the sound of “Let’s Have a Parade,” the iconic phrase that has signaled the start of every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1924.
The band will join nine other marching bands from across the country as well as iconic Macy’s staples: floats, giant character balloons, clowns and superstar performers on Thanksgiving Day 2015. The parade attracts more than 3.5 million live spectators and more than 50 million viewers. tent
The University of Virginia Chamber Singers will give a free concert April 25 at 8 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 500 Park St. in Charlottesville. The ensemble’s spring program, given jointly as part of the church’s “Music on Park Street” concert series, is entitled “Modern Mystics” – an exploration of the music of Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Morten Lauridsen and John Tavener.
Works on the program include Pårt’s “Magnificat” and “The Beatitudes,” Tavener’s “The Lamb,” Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium” and works sung by the Chamber Singers during Glass’s recent U.Va. residency.
The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra will conclude its 39th season with two concerts – on April 26 at 8 p.m., in Old Cabell Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia, and April 27 at 4 p.m., at Charlottesville High School’s Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center, a new venue and start time for the orchestra.
Conducted by Music Director Kate Tamarkin, the concerts open with Mussorgsky’s Triumphal March from “Mlada,” which captures the feeling of 19th-century Imperial Russia; Mozart’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, No. 25, K.503; and Shostakovich’s powerful Symphony No. 5 in D Minor.
Hundreds of students filled the University of Virginia’s Old Cabell Hall Auditorium Friday to hear Tokyo-based ‘starchitect’ Toyo Ito speak. Afterward, many lined up to get his autograph. Such is the fame of the 2014 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture, who was on Grounds to receive the medal.
Ito is a world-renowned celebrity architect who combines conceptual innovation with superbly executed buildings, as in his masterpiece, the Sendai Mediatheque in Japan, which reimagines what a public museum and library should be in the digital age.
The University of Virginia Department of Drama will close its 2013-14 season with Georges Feydau’s classic French farce, “A Flea in Her Ear.” The show opens tonight at the Ruth Caplin Theatre and runs through April 26.
The setting is Paris, at the dawn of the 20th century. A suspicious wife sets the farcical wheels in motion for a wild comedic ride that features mistaken identities, narrow escapes, secret rendezvous, crazy coincidences and little lies that grow bigger by the minute.
The humor of “Saturday Night Live” arrived at the University of Virginia a little late this weekend, when the show’s newest cast member, Sasheer Zamata, a 2008 U.Va. graduate, performed Sunday night before a standing-room-only crowd in the Chemistry Building auditorium that included her father and a few of her drama professors.
The University Programs Council hosted Zamata in an hourlong stand-up comedy performance. Students began lining up at 7 p.m. for front-row seats for Zamata’s 8 p.m. show.
In 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote to a friend, “The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.” In 1989, just such a wave of boisterous liberty toppled the Berlin Wall.
Four panels of that historic wall are now on the Grounds of Jefferson’s University of Virginia in an art installation that reflects his principles of “unalienable rights” – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
As the University and Charlottesville community celebrated Jefferson’s birthday on Friday, alumni, faculty, students and friends of the University gathered on the quad adjacent to Alderman Library and the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library to view the formal unveiling of the “Kings of Freedom” mural by graffiti artist Dennis Kaun, painted on the west side of the Wall. (The four panels of the Berlin Wall were installed on the site last month.)
“If you tickle us, do we not laugh?,” William Shakespeare wrote in “The Merchant of Venice.”
Laughter and merriment is sure to be a part of the festivities this spring when University of Virginia students and professors of Shakespeare celebrate the playwright’s 450th birthday during “BARD Fest,” a four-day festival organized by students in the Department of Drama. (A publicity poster identifies “BARD” as an acronym for “Bastardized and Adapted Renaissance Drama.”)
The Heritage Theatre Festival returns to the University of Virginia this summer for its 40th anniversary season with a highly decorated and fun-filled slate of shows, in addition to a preseason treat that will bring audiences up close and personal with one of the comedy world’s most enduring icons.
Writer/actor/director Frank Ferrante brings his acclaimed one-man show, “An Evening With Groucho” to the Ruth Caplin Theatre from June 17 to 21. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “nothing short of masterful,” the show looks inside the life and career of one of the world’s most beloved comedy icons, complete with his trademark one-liners, classic songs, tales of his brothers and of his show business contemporaries like Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin and others.
From handling the earliest printed books to preserving born-digital materials, Rare Book School at the University of Virginia provides continuing education to library professionals. The program will boost that mission with the help of a new grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through its Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.
The almost $300,000 grant will fund a fellowship program to help educate and contribute to the professional development of early-career special collections librarians, with an emphasis on recruiting participants from backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in the field.
A couple just married is struck by misfortune when the wife dies unexpectedly and her heartbroken husband grieves inconsolably.
University of Virginia associate professor of drama Marianne Kubik, however, turns an ancient story on its head with a new version, created in collaboration with her students.
The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice that most people know is one of tragic love that centers on Orpheus playing beautiful music to convince the gods to let him bring his beloved back to life from the Underworld. They give him one condition: that he must not look back at Eurydice as they go back to Earth. But of course he does, and then he loses her forever.
contProjects exploring the early life of the University of Virginia, the art and robotic science of dance, design-driven manufacturing studios and a close examination of “the Father of Our Country” are among those to be funded by grants from the U.Va. Alumni Association’s Jefferson Trust.
Established in 2004, the Jefferson Trust is an unrestricted endowment that distributes grants annually through a University-wide program. The trust supports a variety of initiatives that enhance teaching, scholarship and research; programs that allow faculty and students to work closely together while engaging in hands-on learning; and programs that allow the University community to reach out to other communities – locally, nationally and globally.ent
Who are the stars of theater costuming? Usually the designers.
However, Lindsay Hinz, a third-year master’s student in costume design and technology at the University of Virginia, concluded her academic career by bringing attention to the equally crucial field of costume technology.
Costume designers put their visions down on paper. It is up to the costume technologists to bring those designs to reality, Hinz explained.
conThe University of Virginia School of Architecture will present “INTENTION + IMPROVISATION: FOUR PROVOCATIONS” at Campbell Hall on April 19.
The symposium will include four separate, yet interrelated, “provocations,” developed and led by Ghazal Abbasy-Asbagh, Cammy Brothers, Jeana Ripple and Kim Tanzer, members of the School of Architecture faculty. It will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Shure Studio on the second floor of Campbell Hall, adjacent to the Elmaleh Gallerytent
The third annual Tom Tom Founders Festival – five days packed with free music, art and innovation events – kicks off Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a “Crowd-funded Pitch Night” at The Haven, just off the Downtown Mall on East Market Street. Audience members who contribute $10 get a vote to select the best business pitch, and the winner gets either the crowd-funded cash pot or a spot in the University of Virginia’s W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory, or i.Lab, which comes with a $5,000 grant.
That’s just the first of more than 170 hours of Tom Tom events, lasting through Sunday, that will feature dozens of U.Va. faculty, alumni and students. The i.Lab, U.Va. Arts and the Galant Center for Entrepreneurship at the McIntire School of Commerce are three of the festival’s seven major sponsors.
Simon Ortiz, one of the key figures of the American Indian literary renaissance that began in the 1970s, will read from his work Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Virginia Bookstore. The reading is free and open to the public.
Ortiz, who is Acoma Pueblo, is an internationally acclaimed poet, writer, essayist and editor, as well as Regents Professor of English and American Indian Studies at Arizona State University. His books, including “Out There Somewhere,” “from Sand Creek,” “Woven Stone,” “Men on the Moon” and “After and Before the Lightning,” have been published in the U.S., Germany, Italy and China, and are forthcoming in Spain and Korea.
The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia and U.Va.’s Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures will host renowned scholar David Freedberg for the annual Gladys S. Blizzard Lecture on April 10.
As part of U.Va.’s Humanities Week, Freedberg’s lecture, “From Scaffold to Scaffold: Representations of Justice from Bruegel to Rembrandt,” will be held at 6 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Theater, with a reception immediately following.
Despite a committed group of leaders early on, including 2008 University of Virginia alums Sasheer Zamata, a new addition to the “Saturday Night Live” cast, and Jonathan Green, founder of Sideshow Theatre Company in Chicago, Spectrum Theatre, a student-run independent theater group with a reputation for producing thought-provoking dramas, faced an uncertain future last spring.
Like many student organizations, it had been guided by strong leaders, many of whom had graduated. The change in leadership provided the theater with a two options: dissipate, or rise to new heights with fresh faces. Spectrum’s executive producer, Lauren Lukow, chose the latter.
Everyday life, from memories and expectations to relationships, will be examined by University of Virginia students, faculty and guest artists in an eclectic combination of dance, staging, original music and improvisation that make up this year’s Spring Dance Concert April 3-5.
Presented by the Dance Program of the Department of Drama, the concert features 12 pieces that investigate and reflect real-world topics through the language of dance. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. each night in Culbreth Theatre.
Scholar Stephen Margulies will give a Saturday Special Tour and talk at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia on March 29 from 2 to 3 p.m.
Margulies’ talk, “The Cowboy in Art: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny” is planned in partnership with the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library and the National Endowment for the Arts’ annual “Big Read,” designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular culture.
Every day, an estimated 1,100 undocumented immigrants are deported – which means that in five years, the United States government deports nearly 2 million immigrants.
There are an estimated 11 million undocumented people in America today.
Jose Antonio Vargas, an award-winning journalist, filmmaker and the founder of Define American, a nonpartisan campaign for immigration reform, wants to make a real change for the better in the lives of undocumented immigrants.
A University of Virginia history professor and his colleague, who arrives on Grounds this month, are among the three finalists for one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards, the $50,000 George Washington Book Prize, which recognizes the year’s best new books on early American history.
Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, a professor in the Corcoran Department of History and Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, is the author of “The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire.” Alan Taylor, who joined U.Va.’s faculty this year as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor and will begin teaching this fall , has written “The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832.”
Three University of Virginia media experts will talk about women who are important players in the media world at a lunchtime panel, to be held Thursday at noon in OpenGrounds.
The event will feature Andrea Press, professor of media studies and sociology; Allison Wright, associate editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review; and the review’s Web editor, Jane Friedman. Siva Vaidhyanathan, who chairs the media studies department, will moderate the panel.
conPhilip Glass, one of the most prolific and influential composers of the late 20th century, will be the 2014 artist-in-residence at the University of Virginia from March 31 through April 2. The visit is sponsored by U.Va.’s Music Arts Board.
Through his operas, symphonies and compositions for his own ensemble and his collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.tent
The University of Virginia’s Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection will host Nici Cumpston, a Barkindji photographer, painter and curator from Adelaide, Australia, for a residency from March 17 through April 11. Sponsored by Australia Council for the Arts, the visit will provide a variety of enriching, interdisciplinary opportunities to meet the artist and learn about her art and curatorial practice.
Cumpston’s artworks are primarily landscapes; she photographs spiritually and culturally significant places with a medium-format film camera, prints them in black-and-white on canvas, and hand-colors them with acrylic, watercolor and pencil.
The University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music will present the U.Va. Klezmer Ensemble on March 27 at 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall.
The Klezmer Ensemble – under the direction of Joel Rubin, director of performance, clarinetist and ethnomusicologist – will welcome guest accordionist, pianist and composer Alan Bern of Berlin. The concert wraps up Bern’s weeklong residency, which also includes a film screening, workshops and a colloquium.
Unlikely travel companions Franz Joseph Haydn and George Gershwin explore London from two different centuries when the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra continues its 39th season with concerts on March 22 at 8 p.m. at Old Cabell Hall on the U.Va Grounds, and March 23 at 3:30 p.m. at Monticello High School.
Conducted by Music Director Kate Tamarkin, the concerts open with Johannes Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme by Haydn.” Haydn’s joyful and humorous Symphony No. 104, dubbed the “London,” provides the other bookend.
The Virginia Festival of the Book, to be held March 19-23, will herald spring in Charlottesville and the University of Virginia for the 20th season this year.
More than 200 events – most of which are free – will feature almost 450 writers in venues on Grounds and around town. The authors’ work represents a range of genres and covers a variety of topics, including fiction, poetry, memoir, crime and mystery, publishing, children’s books, history and other academic fields.
More than a half-century before there was Pinterest or any of the online applications devoted to the art of virtual collage, American artist Joseph Cornell was busy creating his own real assemblage works by hand. With snippets of magazines, pasted photographs and found objects, the universe of Cornell’s imagination was realized in meticulously composed masterworks born of everyday material.
“Joseph Cornell and Surrealism” – an international loan exhibition created in a collaborative effort between the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, a municipal museum of fine arts in the French city of Lyon, and The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia – opens Friday at the The Fralin Museum of Art, and will remain on view through June 8.
The University of Virginia is preparing for a yearlong celebration commemorating the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. From March through November, U.Va. will host an outdoor exhibit of international significance, and will present a comprehensive program of supporting events.
On Nov. 9, the world will mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with global celebrations. On Monday, four panels from that Wall will be delivered to a site on Grounds; for more than a year, they will be on loan to the University.
CORRECTED, March 6, 2014, 5 p.m., to specify that the three-year struggle was to include closed captioning in the video feed of U.Va.'s Final Exercises. U.Va. has long provided sign-language interpretation at the event.
Imagine having to make a case for your right to live, just because society deems you less than perfect.
The late disability rights attorney, Harriet McBryde Johnson, did exactly that, writing a 2003 New York Times magazine article, “Should I Have Been Killed at Birth?” She was responding to people like Peter Singer, a philosopher from Princeton University, who opined that parents and doctors could justify killing newborns with drastic disabilities to alleviate their suffering, using the same rationale used to put animals to death.
There is nothing better than when the minds of individual artists come together and collaborate in order to create a cohesive work. Visionary Workbook, an installation that will open this Friday in Ruffin Gallery, is the collaboration of around thirty artists composed of UVA faculty, alumni, and visiting artists who are together called The Printmakers Left.
The final piece of a three-part series, Visionary Workbook began like a blank canvas with a set of directions that was sent to each member of the group across geographic lines. The product is the individual work of prints, paint, sculpture, bookbinding, and lots of color that collectively create a cohesive group installation. Visionary Workbook culminates in not only an installation but also a publication that is meant to be distributed and that includes a blank workbook in order to reenact the project.
cont“There are no lands in this state of equal fertility and equal advantages,” Thomas Jefferson wrote to William Short, his private secretary from 1785 to 1789, when the future president was serving as U.S. minister to France.
Jefferson was referring to a mountainous tract of land southeast of Charlottesville now called Morven Farm. The 2,913-acre estate affords a panoramic view of an area that was long ago laid out by Jefferson.ent
University of Virginia English professor Bruce Holsinger can tell us, because he made up the term. He created it to describe a written work in the Middle Ages that is politically subversive and could get the author in legal – or even deadly – trouble.
“A Burnable Book” is also the title of Holsinger’s new historical thriller, set in the 14th century, with Geoffrey Chaucer as one of the main characters – “medieval noir, you might call it,” he said in a recent interview.
Renowned sociologist and public intellectual Richard Sennett will speak Thursday at the University of Virginia on how the design of cities influences social life. His speech, “The Open City,” will take place at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Minor Hall, room 125. A reception will follow.
The talk is sponsored by U.Va.’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and the Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures.
he most popular time of the year in New Orleans is the extended Mardi Gras celebration with music festivities and parades galore, a final blowout before the period of Lent, the solemn observance of restraint and self-denial approximately six weeks before Easter.
This year, Mardi Gras, also known as “Fat Tuesday,” falls on March 4, the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
Kim Tanzer, dean of the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, has received a national 2014 Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.
The award recognizes sustained creative achievement in the advancement of architectural education through teaching, design, scholarship, research or service. Up to five professors are chosen each year.
The University of Virginia Jazz Ensemble will perform Saturday at 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall. The program is a special expression of gratitude and appreciation to Scott DeVeaux from the Jazz Ensemble, U.Va.’s McIntire Department of Music and from his old friend and fellow department professor, John D’earth, in honor of DeVeaux’s 30 years of scholarship and service.
DeVeaux, professor of critical and comparative studies in the music department and director of its undergraduate programs, specializes in jazz and American music, with secondary interests in ethnomusicology, popular music and music and war. An award-winning author, his books include “Jazz” (with critic Gary Giddins) and “The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History.” He has also published numerous articles and is series editor of the Oxford Readers on American Musicians, according to his faculty website. He also teaches a course he developed on the “History of Jazz” that often features his own live performances on piano and that students give high marks
On the final day of an art exhibition, more than 30 museum patrons are milling about surveying the work of the three artists represented – each museumgoer offering a distinct opinion.
Such is the entertaining nature of art, according to Tina Howe’s play, “Museum,” which will be presented by the U.Va. Department of Drama on Feb. 20-22, Feb. 26-28 and March 1, at 8 p.m. each night in the Ruth Caplin Theatre.
Directed by Doug Grissom, associate professor of playwriting in the drama department, the play offers an absurdist-yet-enlightening perspective on the critical responses to contemporary art.
The worst disability can be a person’s attitude, some people say.
The field of disability studies aims to challenge attitudes about what is considered “normal” and increase public awareness about how society treats, portrays and accommodates the wide range of people with disabilities – which the United Nations estimates at 15 percent of the world’s population, or 1 billion people, making them the world’s largest minority group. The University of Virginia will host several prominent scholars at its first-ever symposium devoted to disability studies on Feb. 28.
The graduate student composers in the program in Composition and Computer Technologies in the University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music will host a concert of works for voices, performed by members of the acclaimed Ekmeles vocal ensemble.
The concert is the capstone event of Ekmeles’ U.Va. residency, supported by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts. The concert will be held Friday at 8 p.m. at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church at 717 Rugby Road. The event is free and open to the public.
The University of Virginia’s Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection will bring composer and musician William Barton to Charlottesville for several special performances, including a concert with Charlottesville High School students.
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. at U.Va.’s Culbreth Theatre, Barton will perform with the Charlottesville High School Orchestra String Ensemble, led by Laura Mulligan Thomas. The ensemble has garnered a national reputation for excellence, consistently winning top prizes at music festivals all over the country. Tickets are $10 ($5 for museum members, free for university and high school students and can be purchased at the U.Va. Arts Box Office website, by calling 434-924-3376 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
coOn Tuesday, recently published University of Virginia faculty members gathered at Carr’s Hill to celebrate their own accomplishments and the successes of their colleagues. U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan hosted the annual reception to recognize their work.
“Scholarly productivity is one of the things that adds greatly to the pleasure of being at the University,” she said.
Sullivan encouraged faculty to mingle. “I hope you meet someone you don’t know,” she said. “There are so many interesting people at the University, and we don’t always get to meet the ones who aren’t in our own department.”ntent
College a cappella music has grown rapidly since 1980, fueled in part by the founding in 1990 of the Contemporary A Cappella Society, which enabled collaboration of a cappella groups across the United States for the first time.
This is quite evident at the University of Virginia, where the popularity of a cappella student vocal groups is alive and well.
On Saturday at 7 p.m. in McLeod Hall Auditorium, the Virginia Glee Club will host some of the best U.Va. vocal groups in a variety of styles and arrangements at “SingFest 2014,” its annual a cappellooza event.
conIn France, cinema had its beginnings in the late 19th century, and ever since, French film has been captivating audiences around the globe.
In 1896, when the Lumière brothers screened “L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de la Ciotat (Arrival of a Train at a Station),” audience members cowered in terror, fearing that the train was heading straight at them.
Several years later, the French filmmaker Georges Méliès, the subject of Martin Scorsese’s recent “Hugo,” mesmerized spectators with his innovative use of special effects in “Voyage à la lune (A Trip to the Moon).”tent
t seems like an absurd plan to grow a city’s art scene: take the cultural community, run it through two years of focus groups and surveys, and publish six long-range goals (diversity and inclusion, arts education, cultural destination, creative workers, creative placemaking, and cultural infrastructure). It’s a wonky, almost anti-artistic approach. Doesn’t such an effort simply underscore Charlottesville’s willingness to obsessively reformulate intellectual problems rather than to roll up its sleeves to fix them?
Of the places on earth least likely to be developed, the Arctic would have to be at or near the top of the list. But that’s not the case, according to a design initiative under way at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, which includes an exhibition on display through Feb. 15.
U.Va.’s Arctic Design Initiative says development of this northernmost frontier has already begun and expansion is the next step.
The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has announced the winners of its Writer’s Eye 2013 contest, which challenges writers of all ages to use visual art as inspiration for the creation of original poetry and prose.
Entrants submitted original writings inspired by one of 18 pieces selected for the competition from the museum’s permanent collection and visiting exhibitions. After conducting tours for more than 3,600 students and adults, the museum received more than 1,500 entries to the competition from writers in the Charlottesville and University communities.
If someone is invited to Rita Dove’s house, she’ll give the person directions to get there, but not specifically to get back to town, which could turn into a different adventure, she joked.
That’s what she told filmmaker Eduardo Montes-Bradley when he interviewed Dove for the documentary he made about the University of Virginia Commonwealth Professor of English and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, which premiered Friday night.
When Eduardo Montes-Bradley set out to make a documentary about poet Rita Dove, he wasn't interested in information readily available in the public domain.
After creating more than a dozen films about famous writers, the Argentinian-born filmmaker and local resident has become a master at cutting through the superfluous to get to the human within. The result of his two-year journey to document the evolution of Dove from a young girl to a world-renowned poet can be seen for free this evening at the Paramount Theater.
Beginning Feb. 3, the annual WTJU Folk Marathon goes into overdrive for a week of creative folk music programming, offering adventurous roots-oriented shows and numerous live performances.
Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Jimmie Rodgers, A.P. Carter, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Bill Monroe and Hank Williams are some of the songwriters that will be featured during “We’ve Got You Covered,” a weeklong, on-air, fundraising folk festival.
The University of Virginia has reappointed University Librarian and Dean of Libraries Karin Wittenborg to another five-year term. Wittenborg has led the U.Va. Library since 1993, and during that time the library has become known worldwide for its creative and energetic staff, innovative services, distinctive collections and global collaborations that support digital scholarship and preservation.
“The University is indeed fortunate to have had the extraordinary leadership of Karin Wittenborg for the last 20 years,” Executive Vice President and Provost John D. Simon said. “She is an innovator, a visionary and an exemplary leader who has the courage to embrace change. She has made the U.Va. Library nationally known for its superb staff and services, and she runs a large and complex operation with cost-effectiveness and creativity. I look forward to seeing what the library achieves in the next five years.”
Rea Visiting Lecturer Paisley Rekdal will give a poetry reading, free and open to the public, on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the University of Virginia Bookstore. The event is hosted by U.Va.’s Creative Writing Program.
Rekdal is the author of four poetry collections: “A Crash of Rhinos,” “Six Girls Without Pants,” “The Invention of the Kaleidoscope” and “Animal Eye.” She has also published a hybrid-genre memoir, “Intimate,” that combines poetry, fiction, nonfiction and photography, and a book of essays, “The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee: Observations on Not Fitting In.”
Each day an estimated 55,000 cars use the intersection of U.S. 29 and Barracks Road in Charlottesville as a connector to work, school, shops and life. Students at the University of Virginia School of Architecture took that busy intersection – and the rest of an 8.5-mile stretch of U.S. 29 – head-on in this year’s “Vortex: 29 After the Sprawl” design competition, held during the first week of spring-semester classes.
As part of an ambitious weeklong workshop and competition, nearly 300 U.Va. architecture students were challenged to redesign Route 29 from Ivy Road to South Fork Rivanna River. From second-year undergraduates to the master’s graduating class, they gathered from all four of the school’s disciplines – architecture, landscape architecture, urban and environmental planning and architectural history – to explore design possibilities along this corridor.
To quote William Shakespeare’s opening line from “Twelfth Night,” “If music be the food of love, play on.”
During this Valentine’s Day weekend, treat your loved one – or yourself – to a musical program featuring folk music, ancient stories and children’s tales, performed by the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra. Concerts will be held Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. at the University of Virginia’s Old Cabell, and Feb. 16 at 3:30 p.m. at Monticello High School.
The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia will exhibit the work of photographer Nici Cumpston from Jan. 17 through May 18.
Cumpston is descended from the Barkindji people of New South Wales in Australia and also recognizes her Afghan, English and Irish ancestors. She is the curator of Australian Paintings, Sculpture and Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
conNote: At the “Honoring Rita Dove: An American Poet” program Jan. 31, violinist Boyd Tinsley of the Dave Matthews Band will make remarks after the screening of the film, “Rita Dove: An American Poet.” Film director Eduardo Montes-Bradley will attend the premiere, but is not scheduled to give a talk.
The University of Virginia will again commemorate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an array of events from Jan. 17 through Jan. 31. Highlights include a Jan. 23 keynote address from cultural critic, writer and NPR host Michael Eric Dyson and the Jan. 31 world premiere of a documentary on the life and contributions of U.Va. English professor and poet Rita Dove.tent
“Saturday Night Live” is about to get a jolt of adrenaline.
NBC announced Monday that Sasheer Zamata, 27, a 2008 graduate of the Department of Drama in the University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Sciences, would become the late-night comedy sketch series’ newest cast member.
As a featured player, Zamata is scheduled to make her debut appearance on the Lorne Michaels-produced program Jan. 18, when actor-rapper Drake will be the host.
Contemporary American artist Jasper Johns has challenged the definition of art by focusing on everyday icons and emblems – what the artist famously referred to as “things the mind already knows.”
Johns is best known for his painting “Flag” (1954–55), which he created after dreaming about the American flag. His early works were composed using simple schema such as flags, maps, targets, letters and numbers.
While best known for his paintings, Johns, now 83, is also widely respected for his graphic work, which has occupied a central role in his oeuvre for over five decades.
“Saturday Night Live” concluded its search for a black female cast member on Monday when it hired Sasheer Zamata, a young sketch comedian who has been performing in the New York area for the last four years.
The selection of Ms. Zamata came at the conclusion of what amounted to a midseason talent search by “S.N.L.,” which had been criticized for what was described as a glaring omission in the show’s cast.
Do you have a special way of getting to work or to a favorite restaurant? If so, then your cognitive map is doing its job.
These routes are mental maps stored in the brain, and new research shows that what people store in their cognitive map often depends on their mode of travel.
Andrew Mondschein, who joined the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Architecture in September as an assistant professor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, led a team that found “cognitively active” travelers, those driving a car or walking, have more accurate mental maps than “cognitively passive” travelers, such as car or bus passengers. The findings were published in the latest issue of ACCESS, which reports on research funded by the University of California Transportation Center.
Art during the Dutch Golden Age, which spanned the late 16th and 17th centuries, gave portraiture a place of great prominence.
While young painters in the Netherlands primarily focused on portraiture, there were many other artists, mostly draftsmen and printmakers, whose works could be bought for comparatively lower prices than their painted counterparts.
To trace the blossoming of this drawn portraiture in the Netherlands during the 17th century, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia presents “Portraying the Golden Age,” the first of a two-part installation running from Jan. 17 through April 27.
Three newly awarded National Endowment for the Arts grants will help the University of Virginia build its momentum in advancing and supporting the creative arts.
NEA Art Works grants have been given to the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia and a collaborative multimedia project between poet Rita Dove and the McIntire Department of Music.
The Virginia Quarterly Review received $10,000 to support artist and graphic design fees for the journal and to forward the publication of e-books.
The Passive House Institute U.S. has awarded ecoMOD South, a grant-funded initiative of the University of Virginia’s ecoMOD Project, its Passive House Standard certification – the most rigorous energy standard available for buildings in the United States – for two recently completed homes.
ecoMOD and ecoREMOD are education and research initiatives of U.Va.’s School of Architecture and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Their goals are simple: to design and build sustainable and highly energy-efficient modular and renovated housing units for affordable housing organizations.
As the culmination of its Arts and Environmental Action initiative, OpenGrounds at the University of Virginia has selected four exceptional students, pursuing three projects, to work with faculty mentors to develop and implement new ideas at the intersection of art, research and scholarship.
With funding from The Jefferson Trust, the $10,000 Art and Environmental Action scholarships are the pilot for the OpenGrounds Student Scholars program. The funded projects will take place in 2014, and will include participation in the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities’ Emerging Creatives Student Conference at Stanford University in January.
Four times a year, WTJU 91.1 FM takes time out of its regular schedule to explore and celebrate the broad diversity of the four types of music it programs – rock, folk, jazz and classical.
These fun-filled weeks have a purpose: More than half of WTJU’s operating budget is funded directly by listener contributions. Raising money through programming marathons in effect keeps the music coming all year long.
Starting Monday and running through Dec. 15, WTJU listeners can hear classical music ’round the clock in educational and entertaining programs presented by the station’s knowledgeable hosts.
On Thursday, the University of Virginia and the Fourth-Year Trustees will host the 13th annual Lighting of the Lawn to celebrate the holiday season as a University community while embracing the season of giving by supporting the Wounded Warrior Project. The event will be held on the Lawn from 7 to 10 p.m.
An anticipated crowd of 7,000 will enjoy refreshments while listening to performances by 20 a cappella groups, the reading of the Fourth-Year poem and, of course, the illumination of the Academical Village.
Inventive staging, locally composed music and original works by faculty and student choreographers await audiences who attend U.Va.’s Fall Experimental Dance Concert this weekend. The dance program of the University of Virginia’s Department of Drama will present performances at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Culbreth Theatre.
The program will feature works by drama students and dance faculty, performed in collaboration with guest composers Matthew Burtner, associate professor in the McIntire Department of Music, and graduate music students Erik DeLuca and Kristina Warren..
Judging the National Book Award for Poetry, publishing a new scholarly book about modern and contemporary poetry, teaching two courses, giving a keynote lecture at a conference in South Korea and another in St. Louis, chairing the search committee for the next dean of the College of Arts & Sciences– it’s been an unusually busy fall for University of Virginia English professor R. Jahan Ramazani.
He was one of five judges for the National Book Award who read more than 200 poetry collections, starting this summer. The group narrowed the entries down to a long list of 10, then picked five finalists. They made their ultimate decision in time for the ceremony Wednesday night in New York City, choosing Mary Szybist’s “Incarnadine” as the winner..
The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra and the University of Virginia’s University Singers will present their ninth annual Family Holiday Concerts on Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 3:30 p.m. Michael Slon, director of U.Va.’s premiere vocal ensemble and music director of the Oratorio Society of Virginia, will conduct the performances at Old Cabell Hall.
Through the years, these popular concerts have launched the holiday season with an array of music ranging from the peaceful to the joyous. Among the favorites on the program: “Silent Night,” Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” and the “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with audience participation.
When Mary Szybist, who graduated from the University of Virginia in 1992, accepted the National Book Award in Poetry Wednesday night, she mentioned that she counts herself among the people who describe poetry writing as “soul-making.”
Szybist, who earned a B.A. in English from the College of Arts & Sciences and a master’s degree in teaching from the Curry School of Education, won the award for her second collection of poems, “Incarnadine,” which features the Annunciation of Mary as a recurring theme. Her first poetry collection, “Granted,” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
No matter the term paper topic, students have a world of research available at their fingertips, just a few keystrokes away via an online search engine. This semester, though, a new University of Virginia seminar is putting rare letters, journals and other historical artifacts directly in the hands of 16 undergraduate students, teaching them the scholarly value of investigating and interpreting primary sources.
Even as the U.Va. Library embarks on a three-year effort to digitize a cornerstone of its Special Collections in order to make it available for students, academics and researchers around the world, the new course, “Researching History,” acknowledges the need to continue teaching students the importance of taking their research directly to the source.
Novelist, short story writer and professor Ron Carlson will read his fiction at the University of Virginia Bookstore on Thursday at 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Carlton, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, is originally from Salt Lake City, where he attended the University of Utah for his master’s degree in English. After teaching at Arizona State University, he made a transition to University of California, Irvine, where he is co-director for the Master of Fine Arts Program in Writing.
Under the direction of John D’earth, the U.Va. Jazz Ensemble of the University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music will jump, jive and wail at its first concert of the academic year on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall.
“The Art of the Big Band: Creative Gems of Jazz Composition” will focus on the writing and arranging inspired by the large musical ensemble known as the American big band – a sound that influenced a generation.
The big band musical ensemble – and consequently, the genre known as Big Band Music – originated in the United States. Beginning in the mid-1920s, big bands came to dominate popular music. Associated with jazz and the Swing Era, a big band group typically consists of rhythm, brass and woodwind instruments totaling approximately 12 to 25 musicians.
The Virginia Film Festival kicked off its second quarter-century in record-breaking style, smashing its previous ticket sales record set during last year’s 25th anniversary celebration.
The festival, presented by the University of Virginia, included four days of screenings, lectures and film-related activities. It ended Sunday.
Officials announced Tuesday that this year’s festival set all-time marks at the box office, coming in at $120,156 in total sales, an increase of 11 percent over last year’s receipts. The 2013 edition issued more than 27,000 tickets in all, and boasted 35 sold-out screenings.
“Architecture is as much a part of the realm of art as it is of technology – the fusion of thinking and feeling,” once said the late Harry Seidler, a renowned Austrian architect of the 20th century.
“Harry Seidler: Architecture, Art and Collaborative Design” is an exhibition of Seidler’s work – from photographs to sketches – presented by the University of Virginia School of Architecture in collaboration with the Austrian Cultural Forum in Washington, D.C. The exhibit is running through Dec. 4 in the Elmaleh, Corner and Naug galleries in U.Va.’s Campbell Hall.
Video: The Next Sneaker Design Star Sends His First Report Back From Reebok HQ
Oliver Vranesh, a second-year graduate student in the University of Virginia School of Architecture, won the recent “Next Sneaker Design Star” contest held by Complex Magazine, a men’s lifestyle magazine. His reward: a multi-day apprenticeship at the Reebok World Headquarters in Canton, Mass.
The competition challenged up-and-coming shoe designers to submit an original sneaker design to the magazine. After selecting three finalists, Complex readers determined the winner in online balloting.
Thousands of people in Charlottesville spent the weekend watching movies. The Virginia Film Festival called it a wrap Sunday night.
The festival's director said attendance topped last year's record-setting audience numbers. While the official totals won't be in for a few days, the director estimates a 10 percent increase in attendance this year.
"I think it's really, really fortunate we had a wonderful film program this year and on top of that we had a number of films that really threw a spotlight on Virginia film makers and Charlottesville film makers," festival director Jody Kielbasa said.
The film festival expects to release final attendance numbers by Tuesday.
L. Douglas Grissom, a noted playwright and associate professor in the University of Virginia’s Department of Drama, has reshaped Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 classic, “An Enemy of the People,” into something new, bringing Ibsen close to home for American audiences by moving the play from 1880s Norway to 1960s Maine.
Directed by Richard Warner, professor of acting in the drama department, “An Enemy of the People” will be presented in the Ruth Caplin Theatre on Nov. 14-16 and Nov. 19-23.
What would it look like to condense the research and teaching created during one academic year at a major architecture school into a single published book?
A University of Virginia research seminar titled “Paper Matters” has been exploring questions like this one regarding publishing and printed materials related to contemporary architecture since the spring of 2012. The seminar consists of faculty and students working together as an editorial group and publisher, and is led by School of Architecture faculty members Ghazal Abbasy-Asbagh, a lecturer; Iñaki Alday, Quesada Professor and chair of the Department of Architecture; Robin Dripps, T. David Fitz-Gibbon Professor of Architecture; and Rebecca Cooper, fine arts architecture and instruction librarian.
The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra continues its 39th season on Nov. 16 and 17. As part of the worldwide bicentennial celebration of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, the sole work on the program is his choral masterpiece, “Messa da Requiem (The Requiem Mass).”
The Nov. 16 performance will begin at 8 p.m. at U.Va.’s Old Cabell Hall. The Nov. 17 matinee begins at 3:30 p.m. at Monticello High School.
The Virginia Arts of the Book Center proudly presents its 2013 Collaborative project, a“Bookmaker’s Dozen” of miniature books. This set of fifteen handmade miniature books showcases a variety of printing styles including letterpress, lithography, etching, & giclée and a variety of folding/binding styles including coptic, stiff board, accordion, and non-adhesive bindings.
The books are the work of 27 local artists who’ve created works to a 2″ x 3″ scale. While editions of each book may exist in 20-50 copies, only 15 copies of the complete collection will be made in a handsome collector’s boxed set.
One set of books will be RAFFLED at the November 15, 2013 Raucous Auction. Follow links for more details. Click below for close-up images by Stacey Evans Photography.
The University of Virginia’s McGregor Library of American History includes some of the most historically significant works on the European exploration of the New World.
Printed in 1495, Giuliano Dati’s account, in Italian verse, of Christopher Columbus’ official report of his first voyage to the New World is one of only six surviving copies of the pamphlet’s five known editions. Another of the collection’s most prized books, a first-edition, 1530 account of Spain’s royal chronicler of the Indies, includes some of the first detailed depictions of Native Americans and New World plants.
Each year, the Virginia Film Festival, presented by the University of Virginia, showcases groundbreaking films. As has always been the case, this year’s festival, which runs from Nov. 7 to 10, will also offer film-related experiences that embrace the educational values of the University, the local community and students of all ages.
Here are 10 important festival events that emphasize those qualities.
As part of its partnership with U.Va.’s Center for Politics, the festival will spotlight the upcoming national PBS documentary, “The Kennedy Half-Century,” produced by the center in conjunction with Richmond’s WCVE-TV, on Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at Culbreth Theatre.
Entrepreneurs flock to the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and for good reason.
The Business Incubator at the W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory – colloquially known as the “i.Lab” – housed at Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, serves as a hub where experts nurture startups. This summer’s crop of participants included 25 companies, including seven from the local community.
The incubating businesses offer diverse services, including websites to discover the local music scene, find reliable pet care and help connect tourists with area residents to enjoy a truly authentic local experience. Other entrepreneurs offer products ranging from spirits to organic energy bars.
The McIntire Department of Art of the University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Sciences has announced the selection of Los Angeles artist Cindy Bernard as the first Ruffin Distinguished Artist in Residence.
Funded by an endowment from the Peter B. and Adeline W. Ruffin Foundation, the Ruffin Distinguished Artist in Residence is an annual teaching position designed to bring artists of significant international stature to the University’s studio art program, which is housed in Ruffin Hall on the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds.
The University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music presents the third concert of the U.Va. Chamber Music Series on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall. Percussionist I-Jen Fang will perform works by U.Va. composer Judith Shatin, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Keiko Abe and more.
Fang will play both marimba and vibraphone on the popular Chick Corea tune “La Fiesta,” with Robert Jospé on drumset. U.Va. violin faculty Daniel Sender will join Fang on a violin and marimba duet to round out a program that merges tradition with innovation.
Fang joined U.Va.’s music faculty in 2005 and became principal timpanist and percussionist of the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra.
Michael Collier, author of “Make Us Wave Back” and winner of an Academy Award in Literature, will read his poetry at the University of Virginia Bookstore on Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Collier’s visit as a Rea Lecturer will include an opportunity for creative writing students in the M.F.A. program in the Department of English to hear him talk about the craft of writing poetry.
Collier was born in Phoenix and received his M.F.A. from the University of Arizona in 1979. He has been a professor at the University of Maryland since 1984, guiding the M.F.A. program.
Mandolinist and clarinetist Andy Statman – a Grammy nominee famous for his innovative approach to bluegrass, klezmer and jazz – will be in residence at the University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music from Nov. 4 to 6.
In 2012, Statman received the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship Award for decades of innovation expanding the boundaries of traditional and improvisational forms.
The New Yorker called Statman “an American visionary”; the New York Times described his approach as “modern American music with ancient mysteries at the core”; and Rolling Stone described his music as “a beautiful sound full of heat, heart and a love of God.”
The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection has partnered with the U.Va. School of Architecture and the Virginia Film Festival to offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity for middle school students to use Pixar-style animation software. The final product will be a short animated film of an Aboriginal Dreaming story, which will be used as an educational resource by the affiliated Aboriginal community in Australia. The full-day workshop, titled Dreaming in Animation, is one of many programs offered at the Virginia Film Festival’s Family Day on Saturday, November 9th.
At the University of Virginia, more than ever, the arts are in full swing.
The Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds have become a centerpiece of the University of Virginia; the state-of-the-art Ruth Caplin Theatre opened in April; and last month, Tina Fey provided a resounding launch for the new President’s Speaker Series for the Arts.
Building on the momentum, the University is launching a new Arts Trust that will seek to establish an endowment to advance the arts at U.Va. and throughout the community.
Kim Tanzer, dean and Edward E. Elson Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, has announced that she will not seek reappointment to a second term as dean. After her term ends in June, she will remain on the U.Va. faculty.
“Kim has been a truly remarkable leader and steward of the School of Architecture and we are grateful for her tireless dedication and service in advancing one of the nation’s best programs,” Executive Vice President and Provost John D. Simon said.
Simon announced that a national search for the new dean would begin immediately. Shiqiao Li, Weedon Professor in Asian Architecture, will chair the search committee.
From soaring scores to slamming doors, the University of Virginia Department of Drama’s 2013-14 season will showcase a rousing musical, a classic play, a contemporary absurdist comedy and a timeless no-holds-barred farce.
The season kicks off Oct. 24 in the Culbreth Theatre with George and Ira Gershwin’s musical, “Crazy for You.” The Broadway classic is the story of Bobby Child, a 1930s playboy with a banking career in his future but show business in his heart. The musical features an abundance of familiar melodies such as “I Got Rhythm,” “Embraceable You” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
“Crazy for You” was billed as the “New Gershwin Musical Comedy” when it debuted in 1992 on Broadway, and also won the Tony Award that year. The musical is chiefly based on the legendary team’s 1930 “Girl Crazy,” and includes several songs from other Gershwin musicals.
A twist of fate led Jane Alison, a new professor in the University of Virginia’s Creative Writing Program, to translate Latin, which later led to her writing fiction.
While in high school in Washington, D.C., she was accidentally put in a Latin class to fulfill her foreign language requirement. She went on to major in classics at Princeton University.
So began “an obsession,” she said, with Ovid, the Roman poet best known for his epic work of classical mythology, “Metamorphoses.” His life, which mysteriously ended in exile, became the subject of her first novel, published in 2001, “The Love Artist,” which New York Times’ reviewer Michiko Kakutani praised for its “dense, poetic narrative.”
Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” remains one of those rare artistic achievements that has become an enduring cultural touchstone. In fact, the “Inferno” section of Dante’s great poetic trilogy has essentially defined the Christian vision of hell.
On May 14, “Inferno,” a thriller by the popular American author Dan Brown, was published, the fourth book in his Robert Langdon series. It rose to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list.
Brown’s novels are treasure hunts that feature the recurring themes of cryptography, codes, symbols and conspiracy theories usually fusing history and art. His books have been translated into 52 languages, and he is one of the highest-selling authors of all time.”
The Biophilic Cities Project at the University of Virginia School of Architecture is a multiyear initiative engaging cities across the globe. From Oct. 17 to 20, it is hosting the launch of a “Biophilic Cities Peer Network” to advance the theory and practice of planning for cities that contain abundant nature.
Biophilic cities care about, seek to protect, restore and grow nature, and strive to foster deep connections and daily contact with the natural world, said Tim Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and a self-described “biophilic urbanist.”
This fall, the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is offering a range of new resources to empower educators, managers and others to integrate design thinking into business and educational settings. These resources – including two books, a webinar series and a free online course on Coursera – outline the strategies and processes needed to apply design thinking to solve the toughest business and innovation challenges.
Design thinking is a problem-solving approach in which managers apply the mindset and approaches of designers to develop innovative products, processes and business models to fuel growth and innovation and differentiate companies in crowded markets.
Patrick Dougherty, world-renowned for his site-specific twig and sapling sculptures, is creating a larger-than-life work of art from locally gathered saplings for the University of Virginia and installing it in front of the Ruth Caplin Theatre on the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds.
Dougherty’s art form involves weaving supple tree saplings and branches into towering sculptures. Over the past 30 years, he has produced more than 200 installations worldwide.
Built with the assistance of University and community volunteers, the sculptural installation, “Stickwork,” will be in place on the U.Va. Arts Grounds for more than a year, giving visitors a chance to appreciate its seasonal changes as nature permits.
The University of Virginia’s OpenGrounds will sponsor a forum on Friday examining how representations of the environment in the two major photography exhibitions currently on view at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia influence ideas and attitudes toward conservation.
The “Changing Views: Photography and Environmental Action” forum brings together scholars and practitioners from multiple disciplines to discuss the exhibitions, “Ansel Adams: A Legacy” and “Looking at the New West: Contemporary Landscape Photography.”
The University of Virginia’s new strategic plan – nearing its final draft – will include an increased emphasis on “high-impact educational experiences.” It defines those as experiences that involve undergraduate research, community engagement, global immersion, entrepreneurship or learning in “flipped” classrooms that dedicate classroom time to active learning, from doing group projects to the professor moderating a debate among student teams.
Though the University already offers plenty of high-impact educational experiences, the new strategic plan calls for building on and expanding them and better connecting students with those opportunities, explained Maurie McInnis, a professor of art history in the College of Arts & Sciences who was appointed vice provost for academic affairs in January. She is tasked with developing the new strategy in concert with the Board of Visitors through its Educational Policy Committee and President Teresa A. Sullivan.
In the creative arena of drama, “workshopping” – the process of helping a playwright revise a play by rehearsing it with performers and critiquing the results – can be a rewarding experience.
That was certainly the case last month when Michael Rasbury, an associate professor in sound design at the University of Virginia, and his class worked with artists-in-residence Nancy Carlin, a playwright and acting teacher, and Charles Otte, an associate professor of integrated media for live performance at the University of Texas in Austin.
For most of September, 20 participants, – primarily U.Va. students, joined by some drawn from the Charlottesville community – joined with professional artists in reshaping a dramatic work.
Teresa Galí-Izard, International ASLA, is a woman of two minds. At the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, where she just began her first year as chair of the landscape architecture department, she explained, “I have the mind of my mother and the mind of my father.” Her mother’s family is made up of builders and architects, steeped in urban design. Her father’s family is one of educators and lovers of nature. She explained that because of these two minds, it was impossible for her to be anything but a landscape architect.
Galí-Izard melds her two minds in a powerful way in her designs. Each design is practical, functional and logical, while also being beautiful, inviting, and didactic. She achieves this balance by letting the site tell her how to proceed. Her overarching goal is the “transmission of this knowledge.” This knowledge to which she refers, I believe, is an intimate understanding of how “living systems” work.
The McIntire Department of Music of the University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Sciences and the Virginia Center for Computer Music will present two days of events exploring the intersection of music and motion in October.
“TechnoSonics XIV: Motion” concerts are scheduled for Oct. 17 and 18, at 8 p.m. both days, in the Ruth Caplin Theatre, located in the Drama Building at 109 Culbreth Rd. in Charlottesville.
As part of the festival, composer-technologist Chris Chafe of Stanford University will present a talk, “A Listening Tour of Musical Portraits and Sonic Landscapes,” on Oct. 18 at 3:30 p.m. in the OpenGrounds Studio. All events are free and open to the public
University of Virginia students are only one month into the semester, yet art professor Bill Bennett’s “Introduction to Sculpture” class already has something to show for its work.
The students collaborated with Torres Strait Islander artist David Bosun, the artist-in-residence at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia, to hand-carve a traditional ceremonial Torres Straight totem pole. Standing more than 8 feet tall and carved from a 250-year old pecan tree, the pole features faces, animals and even the students’ initials embedded into the designs.
The McIntire Department of Music of the University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Sciences will present a solo piano recital by Martin Jones, one of Great Britain’s most highly regarded solo pianists, on Sunday at 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.
London’s Gramophone magazine has called Jones “a pianist of a beguiling fluency and affection, sympathetic to the widest variety of material” and described his piano work as “being of an exemplary taste and clarity, yet also blessed with a no less distinctive style and character.”
Duke Ellington, America’s genius of jazz, once observed that it was becoming increasingly difficult to decide where jazz began and ended. “I feel there is no boundary line,” he once said.
Crossing musical boundaries is what this year’s WTJU Jazz Marathon is all about. The weeklong marathon, which kicks off Monday, will focus on regional hotbeds of jazz, both in the U.S. and worldwide, celebrating the shifting boundaries throughout the jazz landscape.
This Saturday, more than 50 local entrepreneurial and creative ventures – most with ties to the University of Virginia – will be showcased on Grounds in a “Founders Fair” as part of Tomtoberfest, hosted by the Tom Tom Founders Festival.
The three-day festival – all free and open to the public – launches this evening with a Candidate Forum on “The Politics of Innovation” that will delve into how local leaders and policies impact the creation of local start-up companies, many of which are an extension of U.Va. research.
The University of Virginia’s OpenGrounds will sponsor a forum on Friday examining how representations of the environment in the two major photography exhibitions currently on view at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia influence ideas and attitudes toward conservation.
The “Changing Views: Photography and Environmental Action” forum brings together scholars and practitioners from multiple disciplines to discuss the exhibitions, “Ansel Adams: A Legacy” and “Looking at the New West: Contemporary Landscape Photography.”
Guest curator William Sherman will give a special tour on the exhibition “Ansel Adams: A Legacy” on Sept. 28, from 2 to 3 p.m. at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia.
Sherman is professor of architecture at the School of Architecture, an associate vice president for research and the founding director of U.Va.’s OpenGrounds initiative.
The exhibition features original works by legendary American photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984) on loan from the Meredith Collection. Documenting the arc of his prolific career between the late 1920s and the early 1980s, the collection includes Adams’ early works as well as masterworks from his most productive period, dating from the late 1930s through the 1950s.
What does the world sound like to an autistic child?
On Sunday and Monday at 7 p.m. at the Helms Theatre in the Drama Building on the University of Virginia’s Arts Grounds, audiences can glimpse that world during workshop performances of the musical, “Max Understood.”
“Max Understood” is an invitation into the life of a 7-year-old boy with autism. As Max embarks on an odyssey beyond the confines of his parents’ apartment, his unique perspective reveals the beauty and mystery of the world around him. Paving the way is a leaf-blowing philosopher, a string theorist, Pegasus, a mermaid and all the presidents of the United States.
“When you are scheduled to speak right before the funniest woman on the planet, there’s just one rule: Be brief, “ University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan told a packed audience at the McIntire Amphitheatre Saturday night.
She was introducing U.Va. alumna Tina Fey, the actress, comedian, writer, producer and star of NBC’s “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live,” who returned to Grounds Saturday to kick off the President’s Speaker Series for the Arts, a series highlighting the positive impact of arts on society.
For its 39th season, the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra, under the musical direction of Kate Tamarkin, will present a variety of masterworks for an enriching musical experience.
Highlights of the 2013-14 season, aptly titled “A Musical Kaleidoscope,” include Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” Suite, Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished,” Johannes Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn, Maurice Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite,” Richard Wagner’s Overture to “Rienzi” and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47.
When award-winning actress, screenwriter and author Tina Fey steps up as the first speaker in a series of pro-arts education talks sponsored by the University of Virginia, it’s unlikely she’ll say anything new.
“I’m not ready to be instructional. I hope it will be entertaining, but I’m only part of the discussion,” Fey said in a recent telephone interview. “I don’t think I’m telling people something they don’t understand. They already know the arts are important.”
The University of Virginia’s Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures will host its first Distinguished Visiting Scholar of the year Sept. 9 through 12. Sukanta Chaudhuri is professor emeritus at Jadavpur University and coordinator of “Bichitra: Online Tagore Variorum,” an online archive of the works of Bengali poet, playwright and artist Rabindranath Tagore.
Chaudhuri will give a talk about the project, “Many Tagores: Travels through a Variorum Website,” on Sept. 12 at 2:30 p.m. in the Scholars’ Lab’s electronic classroom, room 421 in the Alderman Library..
In September, the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia will host artist David Bosun, a printmaker and woodcarver from Moa Island in the Torres Strait. He is the first resident artist at the museum under a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts, which will sponsor residencies for six Indigenous Australian artists at the museum over the next three years.
Bosun’s residency will offer several opportunities to meet the artist and learn about his unique culture and art practice, and will give U.Va. students from a variety of disciplines and the Charlottesville community a chance to learn from a leading Indigenous Australian artist.
The 2013 Virginia Film Festival, presented by the University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Sciences, has announced a revamped format for its annual Family Day festivities.
Managed by the festival’s community outreach and education program, the Family Day events will shift this year to the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds at U.Va. They previously took place on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall.
WTJU 91.1 FM is keeping the dream alive with a week of commemorative programming that honors the Civil Rights Movement.
Beginning Monday, the University’s public radio station will begin airing music and audio documentary in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, with a week of special civil rights programming planned to focus on the seminal event.
Among many avid music fans and rock critics, Big Star is widely regarded as one of the greatest bands in rock ’n’ roll history – even though most people have never heard of them.
To promote the band’s legacy, WTJU 91.1 FM – the University of Virginia’s noncommercial educational radio station – is sponsoring a new, highly acclaimed documentary about the legendary Memphis rock band that many consider to be the progenitors of “alternative” or “indie” rock.
The Virginia Film Festival announced today a special 50th anniversary screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic, “The Birds,” on Nov. 8. This event will feature a post-screening discussion with the film’s famous star Tippi Hedren.
The 2013 Virginia Film Festival, presented by the University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Sciences, will take place from Nov. 7-10.
“The Birds” is a 1963 suspense-horror film loosely based on the 1952 story by Daphne du Maurier. This classic cinematic work depicts a sudden and unexplained series of widespread and violent bird attacks over the course of a few days in Bodega Bay, Calif.
Guatemalan Maya women posed for photographer Tom Cogill in their village community center where the walls were painted with images and people’s names from the civil war they had endured. Cogill, who lives in Charlottesville, says the legacy of the war was ongoing in their lives: although usually reticent, they wanted “to share their experience of suffering and endurance.” His photos are on exhibit in the University of Virginia’s Brooks Hall Commons, open Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Brooks Hall houses the College of Arts & Sciences’ anthropology department.
In Cogill’s description of the exhibit, which he previously showed at Piedmont Virginia Community College, he writes:
During many trips to Guatemala between 2001 and 2011 it had become obvious to me that the war was still an enduring force in people’s lives. Although a treaty had been ratified in 1996, the legacy of the war was ongoing in grief, anger and distrust.
Ansel Adams’s passion for the American West was the driving force behind his photography, as he applied his art to record the beauty of a threatened wilderness.
Beginning this week, U.Va.’s OpenGrounds is challenging U.Va. students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as community members, to turn their lens on Charlottesville – just as Adams did with the American West – and seek to capture the experience of wilderness in their own daily lives.
Though one of the most compelling female voices in French modern art, Émilie Charmy (1878–1974) and her work remain largely unrecognized in America.
Matthew Affron, until recently the curator of modern art at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, hopes to change that with the first U.S. retrospective of Charmy’s work. The exhibition, which opens Aug. 23 at the museum, presents one of the most provocative female artists in Paris during the first half of the 20th century.
If you are interested in sharing your appreciation and knowledge of art, now’s the time.
The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia is currently accepting applications from community members through Aug. 22 to join its docent program.
The museum’s volunteer docents give interactive tours to a variety of school groups and community organizations from across Central Virginia. They also assist with the museum’s special programs, such as Eyes on Art and the annual Writer’s Eye competition.
Fiction writer Alison Penning, a graduate student in the University of Virginia’s Creative Writing Program, says she has been wondering for a while, “What exactly is a ‘bro’?” She finds herself often writing about male characters, she says, because she’s trying to figure them out in real life.
Penning won this year’s Henfield Prize – awarded to a U.Va. graduate writing student for the best unpublished work of fiction – for her short story, “Sun’s Out, Guns Out,” which centers on Boyd Poynter, a Marine who’s just returned from Afghanistan.
The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection will host its own version of Night at the Museum this summer, featuring live music and an opportunity to explore the museum’s current exhibitions after hours. The event will take place on the third Thursday of each month through September, with the first one this Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m.
The Judy Chops, a six-piece Americana band from Staunton, will start playing at 6 p.m. Food trucks from The Australian Pie Guy, Got Dumplings? and Carpe Donut, and the local Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company will be on the premises.
What’s the secret to living a long life? It depends on whom you ask – and perhaps where you live
While researching the lifestyles of some of the world’s oldest people, Asa Eslocker and Harriett Jameson, both master’s degree candidates in landscape architecture in the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, would often receive invitations to join the near-centenarians and their families for dinner.
“The people in California had these perfect vegan diets,” Jameson said. But that lifestyle choice was absent from the long-living communities in eastern Sardinia, Italy, where she and Eslocker were served suckling pig at nearly every home they visited. The Sardinian families “would laugh at us and say, ‘It will make you live longer!’”
Sustainable and affordable are two words that aren’t typically seen together in the building industry. The juxtaposition is what caught the eyes of the jury as it reviewed the high-performance, modular housing design led by John Quale, an associate professor of architecture at the University of Virginia (UVa). Over the past decade, the EcoMod project has pooled the research and development efforts of more than 370 students from UVa’s architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, planning, business, and historic preservation programs. Together, they’ve ventured into merging ecology with economy, and modern design with modular construction and community partnerships.
This summer, EcoMod is wrapping up its first three modular, “commercially viable,” and affordable houses. Juror Jing Liu praised Quale’s dedication “to hold on to something so unflashy and make it happen eventually.”
Many scholars recognize the kingdom of Bhutan as the last great bastion of Himalayan Buddhist civilization to be preserved intact into the 21st century.
Sandwiched between China and India, Bhutan has maintained a long history of isolation and independence that combined to create a safe haven for the traditions of a vibrant ancient culture. But pressures of globalization are taking their toll, and the kingdom’s local languages, literature and rich, unstudied oral traditions are at risk of being swallowed as the effects of modernization spread to the remotest areas of Bhutan.
During four jam-packed weeks this summer, University of Virginia students enrolled in a three-credit course watched movies starring monsters, creatures from outer space, vampires and robots.
Taught by Robert Kolker, adjunct professor and instructor in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program in U.Va.’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, “Special Topics in Film: Science Fiction and Horror Film” explored how two of the most exciting and imaginative – albeit not always critically acclaimed – film genres frequently cross and merge at crucial points in the visual narrative experience.
Every third Thursday of the month at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, a 45-minute discussion is transforming lives.
Launched in September 2010, “Eyes on Art” – designed in partnership with the Central and Western Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association – provides quality-of-life experiences for people with Alzheimer’s disease through interaction with the museum’s collection.
Specially trained docents lead individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers on small-group tours of the museum’s exhibits and engage participants in meaningful discussions about specific works of art.
Heritage Theatre Festival, the professional summer theater at the University of Virginia, is ending its 2013 season on a serious note with “Next To Normal,” a thought-provoking musical about a woman trying to lead a normal life while struggling with bipolar disorder.
Featuring 30 folk-rock songs, “Next to Normal” won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2010, the eighth musical ever to do so.
The University of Virginia School of Architecture has received a grant from leading global hospitality company Hilton Worldwide to support its minor in global sustainability, including the “Global Sustainability” course taught by Phoebe Crisman, associate professor of architecture.
Hilton Worldwide is the first corporate philanthropic partner of the global sustainability program.
ecoMOD South, a grant-funded initiative of the University of Virginia’s ecoMOD project, has won Architect Magazine’s 2013 Research and Development Award, announced in the magazine’s July issue.
The ecoMOD project is a joint initiative of U.Va.’s schools of Architecture and Engineering and Applied Science.
Considered the most important research-and-development award in architecture, the judges for this year’s award included noted architects Lawrence Scarpa, a leader in sustainable design; Jing Liu, co-founder of the SO-IL architecture firm in New York City; and internationally known fabricator Bill Zahner, the president and CEO of Zahner, an architectural metal company in Kansas City, Mo.
Heritage Theatre Festival is turning back the clock and turning up the music with the off-Broadway musical comedy “The Marvelous Wonderettes.”
Opening July 23 in the new Ruth Caplin Theatre, the show offers a fun-filled evening during which audience members can relive their own prom experiences – including voting for the Springfield High School prom queen.
Created by Roger Bean, “The Marvelous Wonderettes” runs from July 23-27, 30, 31 and Aug. 1-3. Performances begin at 7:45 p.m., and there will be a 2 p.m. matinee on July 27.
Children who visit The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia’s regular monthly Family Art JAM are promised an afternoon of fun and creativity, and this month their laughter will be punctuated by a few bleats and moos.
Due to increased demand, the museum has expanded its successful Family Art Jams to the summer months. On July 27 and 28, the museum will hold four sessions of “Artful Animals” for children ages 5 to 12.
“I love the summer issues of commercial magazines with their exotic vacation escapes,” writes Jon Parrish Peede, publisher of the University of Virginia’s venerated journal, the Virginia Quarterly Review. His note introduces readers to some of the exotic locales and distinctive characters featured in this summer issue and mentions the magazine’s “distinctive editorial treatment” that sets it apart from its “glossy cousins.”
Thanks to the Heritage Theatre Festival, the wacky residents of Tuna, Texas, are back in the fourth installment of the “Greater Tuna” series, “Tuna Does Vegas,” opening on July 18 at the Helms Theatre.
“Tuna Does Vegas” will run from July 18-20, 23-27, 30-31 and Aug. 1-3 as part of Heritage Festival, the professional summer theater at the University of Virginia. Nightly performances begin at 8 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on July 20 and Aug. 3.
A tradition since 1974, the Heritage Theatre Festival – the professional summer theater at the University of Virginia – continues its 2013 season with “Red,” John Logan’s Tony Award-winning play about modern artist Mark Rothko and his struggle over producing art for commercial use.
Directed by Betsy Rudelich Tucker, a retired associate professor of drama in the College of Arts & Sciences, “Red” runs through Saturday and again from July 9 to 13. This performance marks the first Heritage production in the 300-seat Ruth Caplin Theatre, which opened April 18.